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Russian-French Declaration On Strategic Issues

Russian-French Declaration On Strategic Issues
(Paris, February 10, 2003)

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles creates a growing threat to peace and international stability.

In the face of this threat a global approach is necessary.

In this context Russia and France - permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations - are determined to play further their inherently active role in the interest of law, international and regional stability and security, continuing and strengthening cooperation that is aimed at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Russia and France reaffirm the necessity of making full use of, and bolstering the appropriate mechanisms the international community has at its disposal. They advocate that concerned states and international organizations should work actively to ensure the strict observance of existing international norms and obligations, in particular, concerning export controls in sensitive areas, and should continue practical cooperation with a view to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials and technology.

Russia and France are convinced that no tolerance should be shown towards those who fail to abide by their obligations in this field.

In furtherance of discussion within the framework of the Russian-French Council for Security Cooperation they decided to create a bilateral group of experts on the issues of nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles. Meetings of the group will be held on a regular basis with a view to considering all the relevant questions, as well as ensuring due coordination and imparting a necessary impulse to joint actions of the two countries.

Russia and France attach special importance to questions of preventing the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction to terrorists or those who harbor them. In this connection they reaffirm their adherence to the Global Partnership agreement against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction, adopted at the G8 summit in Kananaskis. Russia and France undertook to make an important contribution to implementing the Global Partnership agreement over the next ten years (Russia 2 billion dollars, France 750 million dollars).

Our countries note the importance of accelerating work on the translation of the political accords of the summit in Kananaskis under the Global Partnership into concrete projects. In this context Russia expresses support of the aims of the French Presidency in the G8.

Russia and France regard the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT Treaty) as the core of the international regime for nuclear nonproliferation. Russia and France underscore the importance of strict compliance with its provisions by all the states parties to NPT. They attach particular significance to the NPT review process and are determined to coordinate efforts and act in the interest of successfully holding the NPT Review Conference in 2005.

Russia and France call upon all states which have not yet done so to accede to the additional protocol to their safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is a key element in the field of nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation. Russia and France call upon all countries, and above all those on which the entry of the Treaty into force depends, to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible. Pending its entry into force, Russia and France call for continued observation of the moratorium on test explosions of nuclear weapons or any other nuclear explosions.

A common aim for Russia and France is the commencement without delay at the Conference on Disarmament of negotiations concerning a Treaty on the Prohibition of the Production of Fissile Materials for Nuclear-Weapon Purposes under a balanced program of its work.

Russia and France consider that the speediest entry into force and implementation of the Russian-US Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions would make a long-term contribution to the cause of nuclear disarmament and the consolidation of international stability.

Russia and France stress the importance of strict observance of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons. They will continue to participate actively in multilateral efforts to achieve a strengthening of the Convention regime. Russia and France call upon countries which have not yet acceded to the Convention to do so in the shortest possible time.

Russia and France attach great importance to the realization of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. They call upon countries which have not yet acceded to the Convention to do so in the shortest possible time. The destruction of stockpiles of chemical weapons should be carried out by all the states which possess them.

The peaceful utilization of outer space should be secured for the benefit and in the interests of all. Russia and France reaffirm that averting an arms race in space is a strategically important issue. Russia and France call for immediate commencement of work on this problem at the Conference on Disarmament under a balanced program of work. They reaffirm the usefulness of confidence-building measures in this field.

Russia and France welcome the launching of the Hague International Code of Conduct Against the Proliferation of Ballistic Missiles. They continue efforts for the implementation of the Hague Code of Conduct, as well as for the involvement in the Code of missile-significant countries which so far do not participate in it. The Code of Conduct is the first step on the road to elaborating a broad, legally binding agreement.

Russia and France reaffirm the role of the Security Council of the United Nations in the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In this connection they favor holding a summit of the UN Security Council members which would have a dual mandate: to evaluate political efforts in the cause of nonproliferation and to impart to them serious impetus.

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